I like the whole boff building portion of the game but like many i feel its lacking. Why are their no designations? Some might argue that bridge officer stations imply that these roles are filled but i have to argue otherwise.
First of all , after reaching Admiral i think you should be allowed to designate one of your BOFFs as your first officer. This boff should be able to train in all 3 areas of space abilitys and sit at any console on the bridge. In addition this officer should get a new captain level ability specific to thier core class which apears as long as they are assigned to a station.
Second , the crew system needs more depth. For starters there should be crew slots on the ships , with the number of maximum slots being dependant on the ships maximum crew. Each slot hold a 25 crew member deployment and can be either physical crew or photonic systems.
Crew Deployments provide conditional System Performance bonuses based on number of living crew.
Tactical = Weapons Performance - Engineer = Engines OR Shield Performance - Science =Auxilary
Civilian = balance of all 4
Photonic Systems provide conditional system efficiency bonuses based on number of online systems and come in Tactical , Science, Engineering and General programing varitys.
In addition to standard crew slots there should also be several Cheif and Petty Officer slots that give minor passive conditional bonuses. These officers should be able to be removed from combat by targeting abilitys , hull breaches , ect , and potentialy killed entierly. This would add both depth and a reasonable death penalty.
I have posted about this before, and I agree a 1st officer should be given to high level players. Captain and Admiral.
My idea is a bit different. T4 and T5 ships should have an extra "utility" console. This would be in addition to all those already in place. (Think about how riker had his own console next to his char on the Enterprise)
This console however, would be special in that it would only allow 1 space skill. This space skill, however, could be any skill across the entire game. The limitations would be that your player would have to be taught the lvl III aspect of the skill by your captain, or bridge officer canditate or already posses it.
But this would allow a Cruiser for example to get a high tired Tact skill such as Attk Omega, or high tired science skill such as VM II.
This 1st officer would vacate any console he was previously using, and that would be filled by another officer in your crew. Your "number one" would keep all his previously trained skills, and ground skills.
I also think at the T5 ship level you should be able to get a LT Commander skill from one of the BOFF station that adds the 2nd console of your ship. Each T5 ship tier has 2 ships for its class, each adds a 2nd console to a specific profession. Whichever one you choose should also give you a additional ability to that 1st console.
For example, Assault Cruiers get a LTC skill from their Tact officer. Star Cruisers get it from their Science officer.
I think this would benifit the game as a whole, because everyone would have the same ability to promote and gain the extra skill. I a
These are really great suggestions, on top of everything you mentioned, the ability to give a universal power to your first officer would help to mix things up quite a bit. You never know what someone might take in that slot and that would really add some spice to PvP and maybe alleviate the dependence on certain abilities that exists now.